Oregon running back LaMichael James (5-8, 194) came through with a 40-yard dash time that confirms his big-play speed. James blazed an unofficial time of 4.37 that tied with Florida's Chris Rainey as the best unofficial time for any halfback. The official time given to James was 4.45, but the the unofficial time looked more accurate. He couldn't afford to have a disappointing 40 time, and James met the challenge to jet a time that reinforces his game as a speed threat. To complete his day, James performed well as a pass receiver in the field drills. He ran routes well and caught the ball well in his hands. James did his part to confirm his second-day grade.
Virginia Tech's David Wilson is competing to be the second-rated running back. He helped himself with an unofficial 4.40 sprint in the 40-yard dash. The official time was 4.49. Wilson performed well in the pass receiving drills as he was a quality route-runner with good hands. He jumped out of the gym with a broad jump of 11 and a vertical jump of 41 inches. Both of those marks were the best of any running back. Wilson had an completely impressive Combine to help his stock.
One of the most explosive big-play backs in the 2012 NFL Draft class is Miami's Lamar Miller. He burned the track with an unofficial 40 time at 4.38 seconds (4.40 official). Miller (5-11, 212) has good size to go along with that special speed. His 40 time should hold him steady as a first- or second-round pick.
Boise State running back Doug Martin continued his strong Combine with unofficial 40-yard dash times of 4.57 and 4.47 seconds. Unlike many prospects, Martin ran faster on his second attempt at the 40. Martin (5-9, 223) also tied for the lead in the bench press with 28 reps. He continued his effective Combine with a strong showing in the receiving drills. Martin is currently said to be making some headway up draft boards and is approaching consideration at the top of the second day.
At a heavy weight, Baylor's Terrance Ganaway (6-0, 239) produced a decent 40-yard dash at an unofficial time of 4.63 seconds. Ganaway did not look like a natural receiver during the receiving drills. He is going to need work on that aspect of his game, but he is more of a rotational power back and not a three-down back. Ganaway needs to improve his training in the NFL, but he looks like a mid-round pick.
Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead ran the 40-yard dash at 4.41 seconds, unofficially. Pead (5-9, 197) performed well in the receiving drills and thrived in that role with the Bearcats. Pead looks like a natural third-down back who can contribute in blitz protection. He confirmed - if not improved - his stock as a mid-rounder.
Washington running back Chris Polk had a quality unofficial time of 4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Polk dropped weight in an effort to get quicker, and the lost pounds appear to have paid off for him, as he ran pretty well. He also looked above average as a pass receiver. Polk had a rough Senior Bowl, and his Combine could aide his cause to be selected on the second day.
USC running back Marc Tyler had a strong week at the East-West Shrine, but he had the worst unofficial 40 time of any halfback at 4.78. Tyler (5-11, 219) is a bigger back but needed to run better than that. His 40 time could push him down further in the third day of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Florida running back Chris Rainey (5-8, 180) tied for the fastest time in the 40-yard dash at an unofficial 4.37 seconds. When the official times came out Rainey was dropped to 4.45. Considering how Rainey ran, the unofficial time looks way more accurate. In the receiving drills, Rainey was phenomenal with the exception of one dropped pass. He is a natural route runner and catches the ball well in his hands. He will be a real mismatch as a receiver in the NFL going against linebackers and safeties. Rainey's combine performance should have helped him, assuming the oft-injured former Gator checked out okay in the physical and team interviews.
Utah State running back Robert Turbin (5-10, 220) had a very impressive 40 time at 4.44 seconds unofficially. For a big muscular back, Turbin ran extremely well. The official time was a 4.5 flat, so no matter which way you cut it, Turbin ran quickly. He could be a fast and physical back.
San Diego State running back Ronnie Hillman (5-9, 200) had an unofficial 40 time at 4.41. Like Rainey and James, it was lowered to 4.45 in the official number. Hillman performed well in the receiving drills and helped himself on Sunday.
A sleeper running back who had a bit of a disappointing senior season was Texas A&M's Cyrus Gray. Gray (5-10, 206) had a quality combine. He ran the 40 at 4.41 seconds unofficially and performed well in the receiving drills. He also looked quick in his cutting on the interior obstacle drill. Gray needed to differentiate himself from the pack, and he made strides on Sunday.
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